Khawaja Asif says no favourites for next COAS

Process for appointment of COAS will start from Nov 18-19, Khawaja Asif says

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Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif speaks to journalists outside the parliament in Islamabad on November 16, 2022. — Twitter
Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif speaks to journalists outside the parliament in Islamabad on November 16, 2022. — Twitter

  • Consultations over COAS appointment not yet held, Asif says.
  • Asif says process for COAS appointment to start from Nov 18-19.
  • Bilawal asks ruling partners to avoid unnecessary comments.

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif on Tuesday said the PML-N had no favourite name for the army chief’s appointment, The News reported, as the date for incumbent Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa's retirement nears.

Speaking with journalists outside the parliament, the defence minister — when asked about the reports of a deadlock between PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari over the name of the next army chief — said that consultations over the appointment have not yet been held and, therefore, there was no question of a deadlock.

In response to media queries, APP quoted Khawaja Asif as saying: “The process for the appointment of new COAS will start from November 18-19 and the nominations will be shared by the Pakistan Army.”

Taking a jibe at PTI chief Imran Khan, Asif said that legal action should be taken on the former prime minister's recent statements because he was playing with the national interest for his personal interest.

Meanwhile, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has lamented that unnecessary politics is being done in the country — both from the treasury and opposition’s sides — on the issue of the appointment of a new army chief.

Talking to media persons after attending a programme in Karachi at the Ojha Campus of Dow University of Health Sciences, Bilawal said that the appointment of the new army chief should be carried out as per the procedure laid down for the purpose in the Constitution and law of the land.

“I want that no one among our allies should ever raise any demands concerning this issue while addressing a public meeting nor anyone from the opposition should make this issue unnecessarily controversial for the sake of his politics,” Bilawal said.

The PPP chairman said that instead of unnecessarily debating on such issues, national priorities and interests should be focused on resolving the genuine issues of people.

“The same course of action would also be helpful in defusing the present situation of political polarisation in the country,” he said.

He mentioned that the politics of the Khan, from day one to the present day, revolved around the army chief's appointment.

“We need to move on from this mentality for the sake of the democratic system and people of Pakistan,” he said.

When asked whether or not PPP has given any names to the government for the appointment of the new army chief, Bilawal reiterated his stance that the appointment of the next chief of the army staff should be held as per the procedure given in the Constitution and law.